During its short existence, Akiba Uhaki Foundation has learned that besides the challenge of marshaling the resources to support deserving initiatives such as that employed by slum dwellers in pursuit of their rights where sanitation, health and safety is concerned, parallel efforts must be mounted to deal with the rampant impunity that has clearly contributed to these situations. Taking advantage of the newly promulgated, progressive constitution in Kenya, Akiba Uhaki Foundation incubated an initiative dedicated to monitoring, research and promotion of public participation in the implementation of the new constitution. With the professional support of this initiative, the Mukuru slum community has filed a legal challenge requiring changes in the existing land ownership structures that have confined them to their current circumstances. This action has created the kind of momentum that fairly rapidly educates entire community members regarding their rights and responsibilities and enables them to demand accountability from duty bearers in ways they had never done before.

Economically, East Africa has been cited as being the fastest growing region on the African continent. In stark contrast, the region is also experiencing widening inequalities occasioned by dysfunctional, individualized political structures and resource based conflicts that increase the vulnerability of East African states. The picture of widening inequalities is further aggravated by a rapid population growth and a host of attendant social justice challenges – ranging from a lack of the basics; food, shelter, heath, quality education and other social services. Amidst all these, youth unemployment remains the one challenge whose resolution or lack thereof will either make or break the region.

Last modified: November 30, 2019

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